Once back from the safari on day 34, I took a so-called Matatu (mini-bus) into downtown Nairobi. After an hour stuck in traffic jam, I finally got off at Kenyatta Avenue to stroll through the city centre.
- Nairobi is a strikingly green city. There’s trees everywhere—very pleasant.
- After a month in Muslim countries, Nairobi comes across as a very liberal city with a fairly equal society. Women no longer cover up from top to toe, but showcase their curves with figure-hugging dresses. Showing legs, arms and cleavage is allowed again.
- While people in Sudan were quite restrained, I’ve now had a few instances of shoulder-touching and more aggressive chatting up or trying to sell goods & services. A firm “no”, however, also goes a long way in Kenya. While Nairobi is notorious for its rather high crime rate, I haven’t felt threatened at all in downtown (nor on the bus). Using common sense and not leaving things unattended goes a long way.
- Great food! I fell in laugh with the local coffee/Mexican food chain JAVA House, so much so that I would go back there three more times! Not very adventurous, I’m afraid, but I’m more keen on convenience and relaxation than adventure these days, before we head off again on our bikes into the unknown.
- I made sure to take the bus back from downtown to our camp before sunset.
However, I missed a few stops and got off far too late. Ten minutes into my walk back, it got dark. As luck would have it, my phone battery had drained completely, so I could neither call a taxi, nor check my exact location on the map. Having been warned not to walk on the streets, especially at night, my phantasies were going wild. Fortunately, I remembered the directions, and the outskirts of Nairobi are not as dangerous as we were led to believe (at least not while I was walking there). After half an hour walking alone in the dark, I eventually arrived back safely at our lodge. Having said that, I was relieved for sure when the security guard finally opened the gate!